Watch the slow creep of spring as it pushes the cold hand of winter back to the frigid north … only to succumb again next year, of course.

NASA’s MODIS imager senses Earth’s reflection of both visible and longer wavelength near-infrared light. Plants, full of chlorophyll, absorb most visible light (except for green, of course) and reflect near-infrared. By combining this with the reflection of snow, NASA can watch the yearly cycle of vegetation springing back and falling away.

I made a higher-res GIF here, and you can watch the full three-year animation here.

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